Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    @shelbyville I don’t mean this with any hurtful intention but you avoid very good advice on this thread. Good advice can never make you go the wrong way or damage you, it gets you to the place where you are meant to be without the extra blows or pain/damaging yourself. I have noticed advice given about blocking your ex, deleting all contact, all of the things your therapist should have insisted and guided you towards very early on instead of molly coddling you so you can finally let go, you haven’t done.

    You should know by now the choices you were making were wrong. We often justify them and say it was a road we must take. No it isn’t a journey needed when someone has advised us there was a less turbulent way out, it is what keeps us in a loop of being on again and off again, a relationship which ultimately leads to a dead end and wasted time, more pain.

    A committed relationship where 2 people work is one that needs the exertion you’ve put in. Not an unrequited one where none of your needs were met.

    I feel you have stuck with your therapist because the therapist must give you what you want to hear rather than really challenge you. Maybe as @sammy says it’s time to stop , save money as nice as it is to have someone listen to us in the end we have to implement the change and you are equipped to do that just need to put it into action.

    Other advice Michelle gave about having a balanced relationship where you give and take in general and with your new guy friend who you yourself said was an immense support etc. you don’t seem to have taken on and when I have challenged you recently after you felt let down by your friend you have ignored answering which makes me think you must have done what I did with Jay.

    I’m also really really surprised after a year and half of Michelle supporting you on this thread you also avoided addressing her recent cancer scare and the one she faces right now. Both Sammy and I have addressed in our messages which you have read because you replied to our messages. She doesn’t want sympathy but surely she would have liked to hear something about it from you. I’m not being mean, just observations made and they come from a place of wanting you to be happier because your thread made us get there and I’m pointing a few things out so we can help get you to the same place as those who have moved on and learn to face the reality.

    Do you find it hard to deal with constructive criticism? You need to see it as a trigger for change not a way of someone bringing you down. It is someone recognising more value in you. They see more potential in you so own it.

    Honestly a balance with being kind to yourself and also hearing the truth is essential. Those who love you I bet would give the exact advice Michelle has because they want the best for you. She is right, the thing that makes you feel uncomfortable or challenges you is often the one that pushes you forward. It is the one that helps overcome and fight the insecurities and fears and leads you to a better future.

    So a lot of the reason why you are not healed as much or as quick is because you’re choosing not to follow the hard truths. I actually agree with Sammy and having had therapy too very few give you that real reality check. They mostly just try to explain why you act in a certain way, they lend an ear and do draw things out slowly which is fine but risks you becoming stationary. Often making you too self aware and just question or dissect everything rather than taking things at face value. This is crap in new relationships too as you dissect it apart before it’s even begun rather than allow nature to take its course (I speak from experience)

    Only you can fully take reigns of your own life. Once we have all recognised that, that is when we have let go and made better decisions and choices.

    A lot of people wouldn’t say the above in fear of causing upset. I feel like I may feel guilty afterwards knowing you are sensitive but I feel you really need to hear it. If you allow it to speak to you and resonate it will be for your own happiness and benefit.

    You’re not disappointing anyone. You are an amazing chick. We just want you to give the pain and hurt a middle finger and get you back to your amazing self and moving onwards and upwards



    I appreciate the intention. I thank you for your contributions over the months. In response, I don’t see it as you in any way trying to hurt me and looking at it through the periscope of kindness, I can see you want me to be happy. So thank you.

    I don’t have an issue with constructive criticism. Much of what is given to me as constructive criticism throughout my life is nothing new to me whatsoever, so I don’t feel defensive about it, but I know I take some on board and some I don’t. For whatever reasons. I’m sorry if you felt ignored. Sometimes I just didn’t have the energy or capacity to analyse every post and respond individually to every single contribution. We are all unique individuals and exist in this world today having gone through individual and unique life experiences, though some experiences may resonate with other people, we are all conditioned uniquely and have different feelings, emotions and souls. I have a great difficulty with the words ‘should’ and ‘wrong’. A million times a year I can feel like someone else or myself  ‘should’ do this or that or what they/I did was ‘wrong’, but those words hold too much judgement for me, and I feel in my own self that on this earth no one single person has a right to judge anyone else. It’s just my philosophy, I just don’t want anyone, ever, to feel judged by me, so I try to steer clear of placing emphasis on those types of descriptions.

    I feel I have taken on board some sage advice from this thread. I will not claim to have taken it all on board, but there have certainly been actions I have taken and am proud of myself for doing so. I’m human, I’m learning and I suspect as time goes on I will learn a lot more. Michelle’s contributions have always been welcome and just because I might have felt they were direct from time to time, didn’t mean I listened to them any less or appreciated them any less. There is so much common sense in what she says. In life, we take on board much advice from people around us, we don’t often take it all and I’m not someone who relies wholly on other people’s advice, I listen, process and store it as needs be.

    I know exactly the writing on the wall regarding my ex. The advice that has been given to me is not something new to me. But sometimes in life, it’s just nice to vent and rant on an anonymous online forum where you can let out whatever crap goes on in your mind and feel comfort that some of your messiness resonates with someone else and you feel a little less alien and a little more normal. Some people you resonate with, others you don’t, but I’ve always tried to be supportive when I can. I don’t mind staying on here for years to come facing hard truths from contributors, I like considered experienced advice, even if it’s hard hitting at times, it’s the only way to grow sometimes. However, this forum doesn’t bring me the same feeling it once did. Lately I have just felt not as happy logging in as I was in the past….well not happy in the past….but you know what I mean I hope….. it’s just causing me a little more upset/anxiety than I’m up for right now. Could be the extraordinary circumstances we’re in for sure, i definitely know anxiety levels for everyone are increased. i’m not logging off to avoid hard advice, on the contrary, I will definitely consider the hard advice I’ve been given and indeed stopping with the current therapist is definitely worth thinking about and doing. Thank you all for your contributions, I sincerely mean it when I say they were appreciated. I have very much considered and kept some gems of advice, in case you believe I haven’t, I truly have.

    @michelle, I’m truly sorry if you felt I lacked sensitivity towards your circumstances. Hand on heart, that was not intentional. I suspect from the little I know of your online presence that you certainly don’t seek out sympathy or in fact want any circumstances to become the focal point of your life. You know yourself best and make measured and experienced decisions so thank you for all you have contributed over this thread. You have had more impact that you may realise. I do wish you the very best going forward and keep on travelling! A life well lived indeed.

    @kkasxo….my first Tiny Buddha friend! Honestly, I feel you got me more than most. Though vastly different circumstances in some respects, you always made me feel less alone. I do hope this is not the end of our communication forever. You are a special lady. Thank you.

    All – thanks so much for your contributions. Perhaps you might like to start a new thread now to continue the amazing support you can get from the Tiny Buddha community. There are some amazing people on here. Stay safe all, let’s hope 2020 finishes better than it started and we all become stronger than ever. x


    @shelbyville I never once felt ignored by you. Those things I mentioned I had picked up on, I read all 92 pages in Dec when I joined because I was so low and suicidal but your thread saved my life. For that I am ever grateful. You don’t understand how much you all helped turnover the events of my life.  the space of time up to this page you make observations about others I had noticed you had avoided certain things. Maybe some of your ex behaviour rubbed off on happens. I don’t  know.  But your advice has always been helpful. Kind and useful to me. You don’t owe me an explanation either. It is your own choice what you do. I just hope to read you are happy and moved on one day.  Best of luck.


    This is your thread with @kkasxo so you don’t need to remove yourself. I will remove myself and post on another thread when I feel low. Thank you for allowing me to rant when I did.




    All I can say is I’m sorry, I feel my words were a catalyst for you both withdrawing. I do agree the general principle points of there being underlying avoidance but the main thing I can agree with @genie is that this is your thread @shelbyville.  If we have made you feel uncomfortable and you have lost a safe place to rant or vent then that’s not fair.

    I know I have grit and excellent support to guide me irl outside of this thread so  I’m more than happy to stop posting in this thread. I feel @shelbyville it’s been a source of steadiness amongst the chaos of your life so you deserve to have that with people you resonate with.

    Don’t feel aggrieved I do think everyone on this thread had very well made points and it’s natural to want to read a happy ending for the original character in a book. So much latch on to that they forget each person requires their own time. Just reflect and enjoy your own thread without us newbies overwhelming you. Please do not withdraw, everyone needs help in life so vent and rant without feeling judged.

    I wish you all a hopefully wonderful remaining 2020 and wonderful futures x


    Thanks all for your kind words m ex mother in law passed today all alone in hospital it’s been devastated and no contact from the ex I spent 27 years loving  unconditional y  he can’t even contact me on a day like today       think it’s made me see I need to be the person who looks after me and start to accept my reality and start living my new life



    I hope you are keeping well! I know our communication has been somewhat sparse in the last weeks with all the changes to our lives, the lack of jobs, the ex’s (or in my case Mr A) still causing havoc to our lives so long after.. but please do not disappear on me now.

    Albeit online but I consider you as a dear friend. You have truly been a rock to me in this journey and actually have been closer to me than a lot of people when I was figuring my way out with PTSD. I value your time and effort and the kindness you have shown me for the last nearly two years! I really do want you around so please please keep on keeping on!

    How is everything at the moment? I know this quarantine stuff can be extremely overwhelming. I know it has been for me on most of the days where I miss my family so much and just the normality of life. Did your test results come back? And most importantly, how is your soul feeling at the moment Shelbs? How are you really feeling? I am still here and still very much want to continue our communication.


    @shelbyville & @kkasxo

    Came on to say thank you. Maybe one day you’ll both read this. I have turned my life around thanks to this thread. It made a huge difference in my life. I won’t post too much. I did create another thread and you are welcome to join or comment anytime or follow our journey and see what happened. I hope you found your way through too. I just wanted to say thank you for the safe place to release my anxiety and push me to make tough realisations. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and strength to overcome your issues. Stay Alert 🙂


    Hi all,

    I was hoping to find you all made up and reposting on here after some space.

    I really liked the contributors on this thread so thought I’d message and see if I can get anyone to help me as I feel I may be going a bit backwards and feeling lost.

    Before I blurt it all out, I’ll wait for a response.


    @genie @shelbyville @kkasxo @Adelaide @michelle any of you still on here?


    Just going to do a quick recap, don’t want to rehash the past on a new thread. So a few days before lockdown began, my ex ended it after 4 years together. We had been on/off several times hitting the same commitment from his end. The fear of it ending was always there but it still hit me hard and I turned to drink. This thread and my best friend turned it around and I began to see things differently and as a blessing. I just feel now life is beginning to return to normal, I feel very hollow and tempted to hit the bottle again as I don’t know which direction my life is going, I sense a loss of control. It is also approaching our 5th anniversary and I’m scared I will fall backwards because it is always easier to go back then to accept/let go, but I don’t want to be sucked into that again. It was not the right relationship for me. What do I do next? I feel a little lost.

    I’m hoping anyone will reply just so I don’t feel so confused.


    * Dear Sammy: you don’t have to “rehash the past on a new thread”. I already read your previous posts on this thread and will be glad to reply to you but not on this thread. If you copy the above post of two hours ago into a new thread, I will reply to you there. Otherwise, perhaps other members will reply to you here, and I wish you well.



    Thanks anita, I may just do that.


    * You are welcome, Sammy. If you start your own thread, I will reply to you there.



    Hey @sammy,

    I made a new thread which @Adelaide1 and @michelle contributed on. I only came online to check if @Adelaide had replied and saw this thread. You’re welcome to continue on there as they know your backstory and hopefully they’ll reply, although I will no longer be active on there. @Adelaide1 is usually and may appreciate a different perspective.

    I did wonder how you were going which is why before I leave I wanted to reply. I’m in such a healthy and happy relationship now. In Dec last year i was suicidal, lost and seeing no light at the end of the tunnel. Then I met my angel Jay. It was a rocky road but we are so happy now. I just want to say, you are doing the right thing chick, don’t look back. The more you use your energy to reminisce about your ex the more deeper you’ll sink back. Throw yourself into activities, focus on you, what did you want to do that you couldn’t? Be strong on your own for a bit. Then get back out there. I’ve been there in an on/off again merry go around relationship which lasted many years. In the end it left me broken, I didn’t realise how much it had chipped away at my self esteem by the end and I was a happy go lucky chick even with anxiety before. The wrong relationships leave you feeling unhappy, unworthy and unwanted. So it is natural to keep going back to try and retrieve it as it comfortable, you had been intimate and rose tinted glasses make you focus on the good bits only. Do you really want to go back and have the thought of when will this end again always in your mind? Most likely he will reach out to you mine always did. But it was for selfish reasons he wanted to always enjoy the perks on his terms. Each time we got back it was me who ended up giving more, he never once changed to meet me half way. I knew even if he proposed he may still leave after because the foundations were not strong. They never are in on/off again relationships. You deserve someone who cares, loves you and is just as excited and willing to put in effort to make your relationship work. I never thought that was out there. I almost let my fears sabotage me from being open again but the right relationship full of affection, love, care and respect will make you think why did I waste so many years chasing something so toxic? Don’t get me wrong I still love that man in my own unique way but I no longer feel that need to go back, the opportunity presented itself and do you know how good it felt to realise I had recovered enough self worth to say no. I do not want to entertain another failed reunion. You had your chance, you had one too many but you never stepped up and now I’m stepping up for myself. Even if I wasn’t with Jay this belief still came to me, it took over a year though.

    Don’t give up now, I know you are strong. You have the willpower and the brains to see you deserve so much more than someone’s Crumbs. You deserve the whole loaf!

    Volunteer, travel, take up a hobby, pursue the things you missed doing when you were together. Don’t look back or you’ll never move forward. All the best chick! Xxxx


    Hi there all,

    WOW, I read this and felt a flashback of my own life. I always thought women got over things much more quickly, told each other they can do better, and just moved on so I’m glad it is not just men who seem to suffer this extremely too. Not that I want anyone to suffer as I did.

    I read the first and last page so don’t know the ins and outs but @shelbyville but I had a very similar scenario, my very first girlfriend I too believed was the one, the best, and had an aura about her. However, after the initial honeymoon period wore off she split up with me even though I had fallen in love she said at the time she wanted to focus on her career, she didn’t want to worry about the responsibility and didn’t realise a relationship would be so much work. I treated her like a queen, I was crushed. I tried to offer her support and understanding to help achieve her goals but clearly it was not enough.

    I hit rock bottom because it was the first time I had ever fallen in love. I didn’t know what I was feeling because I had never experienced pain like it, my emotions were overwhelming. I went off the rails after our initial split.

    I didn’t understand what was happening to me. The emotions overwhelmed me to the point I had a mental breakdown. My family was devastated, nothing was helping, they then out of desperation I guess dangled the carrot, convinced me to see a therapist and said I would then be able to woo her back. I was determined and I did. We got back together but after another year we had not moved forward in our relationship in any significant way, my I love you was not returned, she was not putting forth the same effort and reluctant to set concrete plans with me but she enjoyed my company and the way I spoiled her. I left my job which I loved to support her career just so we could be closer, I started saving for our forever home and put down a deposit on a home for us. I did everything I could but it still was not enough, she ended it again. I was depleted and destroyed.

    I again spiralled out of control all because I had loved a woman who clearly didn’t love me but when you are in it you are so blind, I almost ruined my entire life for someone else. My good network pulled me out with some further therapy. I pulled myself together and began to focus on myself and my own goals. In that space, she never once wanted to get back together but I had still not learned my lesson, I pined after her and even got spurned another 2 times. Finally, some common sense and dignity kicked in.

    About 2 years post final break up, lo and behold my ex started reaching out, she had done everything in her career and was feeling directionless, she realised the grass isn’t greener on the other side. She now probably because the clock was ticking, her friends had all settled, she thought I would make a good enough partner and “consistent Mr. nice guy” was going to be there waiting to pick it back up.

    But guess what? I had gone away and grown up, I was no longer a fool. Four rejections later I was not going to set myself up for the inevitable fifth which may happen midway into married life when she finds me not to be enough again. She never gave me 100% back then, then why would a piece of paper change that? I no longer wanted to settle for a relationship where I would have the constant thought, she could leave when bored or things got tough as she always walked away from the responsibilities of being in a relationship. Relationships where there is solid commitment i.e. marriage/civil ceremony/ serious cohabitation/children and problems arise should be worked on . However, if there is a relationship where a partner is not committing beforehand then after giving it one chance, walk away, run even for your own sanity. I have one word: TOXIC! Continue at your own peril because it will leave you as a shell of your former self.

    With hindsight I realised she cared deeply but never loved me to begin with as she was too selfish, she never said it and that was the first red flag. I had her on such a pedestal because of my own fears and issues that I made excuses for her not telling me she loved me, I made allowances when she let me down when I sacrificed a lot. We just were not suitable partners because we couldn’t meet each other’s needs. I loved hard as it was my first ever love, I will always love her but that pain of not being enough when I gave her my everything, planned our future and had it ripped away, taught me I don’t want that type of love. The subsequent consequences it had on my life whilst she just carried on really helped to take her off that pedestal and tend to myself. I nearly destroyed me.

    I, unfortunately, was so wounded by this relationship I did start to despise myself for being “nice, soft, etc” I wondered what went wrong when I gave my heart and love. I despised myself thus turned into a manipulative piece of shit who was just chasing an emotional bandaid, that stereotypical bad boy that most women long for but after I went too far and hurt others I realised I had become part of a vicious cycle of perpetuating toxic relationships. I found from therapy and introspection, I didn’t like that person at all. I have returned to being the nice guy I always was at heart, my authentic self, and of course I suffered for it, I won’t lie. I still have been dumped, I endured, however, because I knew if I lost the ability to open up/let a woman in, I would never have that level of closeness that I very much wanted beyond the sex, the real companionship I desired.

    Now I’m in a very stable relationship. It isn’t the extreme highs and lows and thrill or rush you get in an on/off-again relationship from the never-ending drama. It is a feeling of stability, maturity, I am being me and I feel serenity for being accepted as me. It may work out, it may not but I now accept that.

    So @shelbyville or anyone else reading in similar circumstances despite gender, it all boils down to the same question, your biggest barrier is; can you love yourself? All those things you are hating within yourself is actually who you are. If you have flaws change them, but do not diminish your good traits if one person rejected you. Or else you will continue to chase relationships with people who do not accept you wholly for whatever reason, you like I, took the rejection so much harder and couldn’t recover/let go because subconsciously you are trying to validate yourself still through that person . Pursuing emotional validation is pretty much the life choice equivalent of opting for a life of torture, you will remain as you are unless you accept the outcome and learn to be ok with yourself, The deeper reasons why you need validation lays with your parents often you sought approval but never received it, have discussions with them too.

    THE CURE: Time heals you, but to stop the same mistake you need to do the work and do the opposite of chasing emotional validation allowing yourself to be vulnerable in a way that you would normally avoid after a failure. It is as simple as that. This means accepting rejection. Not being afraid to be authentic expressing your interests, values, boundaries, opinions, and so on. Not hide or alter to avoid being rejected and the “confirmation” that comes alongside it. It is when someone accepts you like that you should consider giving your heart to that person.

    I became a better man. I hope this helps you or anyone finding themselves in such a spiral of hell. Took a lot to get here but it was needed to make me stronger. It can also be avoided by not being blinded by our love and seeing things objectively. If you can not see it ask your closest ones for their true opinion and they will tell you the hard truths. Embrace these truths and change your attitude. Do not set yourself up for a life of loneliness, misery chasing the approval of the person who clearly did not choose you. You are more than that until you accept you and love thyself you will remain unhappy.



    @Genie it was so lovely to hear from you. Thank you for the advice, I’m trying to stay motivated. It is incredibly tough. Your story has given me a lift to read and it’s wonderful you are doing so well now. I sincerely appreciate the time you have taken to write back to me. I hope things with your partner and family continue to move in a positive direction. I was hoping to hear from the rest too especially @shelbyville because her experience really spoke to me, but I suspect I’ll never know how their stories ended. I was also going to post on your thread after reading @Adelaide1 and @michelle responses, they both were so insightful. However they too have not logged in for a while! Where and how are you all?

    @Tim your contribution, I really sympathise with your experience and would love to engage, especially because it’s a male perspective. I went through something very similar with my ex, I thought towards the end he was going to finally propose. Little did I know the rug was going to pulled out from under me making me crash hard!

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